Arapawa Island Pig

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Arapawa Island pig is a breed that has been adapting to the Arapawa Island for about two hundred years. Their origin is not quite certain, they might be descendants of animals imported in the Marlborough Sounds area by James Cook in 1773 and 1777. Another hypothesis, however, would be that they were introduced to the islands by whalers in the nineteenth century, where they have been freely roaming ever since. During the 90’s there were only few of them left, leaving the breed endangered, until four piglets were caught, moved to the mainland and actually bred so that the breed could survive. As a wild breed the pigs are rather alert, and used to have characteristics defined by their wildness that are starting to evolve with time as they are now bred: shorter hair, larger back end, etc.

Nowadays, the Arapawa pigs are just raised in Marlborough region and they are protected by the Rare Breeds Conservation of New Zealand. They are unique and unusual looking. They are often compared to Auckland Island Pigs however, Arapawa pigs are larger, and have shorter noses and tails. Its colour is white but the combination with black patches gives a sandy, tanned appearance. They have long faces and small pricked ears.

The Arapawa Island’s meat is considered as stunning and its red bacon is just magnificent. Its meat has little level of fat.

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StateNew Zealand


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Breeds and animal husbandry

Nominated by:Diego Mazzucco